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Media Releases

Cavalier Bremworth restructuring another blow for working people

Date of Release: 
Monday, April 18, 2016

Only a week after Fisher and Paykel Appliances announced plans to close its Auckland appliances factory, carpet-maker Cavalier Bremworth is announcing a proposal to shift production to Napier in a move that could see up to 68 jobs go in Whanganui and a further 36 jobs go in Christchurch.

The Christchurch Radford Yarns Plant could close completely as a result of the restructure, says FIRST Union Southern Secretary Paul Watson. 

Auckland bus company using ratepayers’ money to breach employment law – union

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The long running dispute between Auckland bus drivers and their employer is heading to the courts as FIRST Union, the union representing drivers at Howick and Eastern Buses, files two cases in the Employment Relations Authority against the East Auckland bus company for “serious and sustained” breaches of the Employment Relations Act.

The union is seeking costs and $2 million in penalties.

Union welcomes Bunnings back down on in-store defibrillators

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The union representing Bunnings workers is welcoming the company’s decision to install defibrillators in five stores, including in stores where staff-owned defibrillators were removed.

“Workers in Dunedin, Nelson and Gisborne were heartbroken when the company removed their staff-owned defibrillators,” said FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.

“Having a defibrillator on hand can mean the difference between life and death. Bunnings decision to remove defibrillators they didn’t own and didn’t pay to maintain never made any sense.”

Disruption at Richmond Pak’n Save as workers go on pre-Easter strike

Date of Release: 
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Workers responsible for filling shelves at the Richmond PAK’nSAVE are on strike this morninig in frustration at the supermarket’s continued refusal to bargain over pay rates and lift wages for low paid workers at the store.

Workers from the Morning Fill, Bakery and Butchery teams have walked off the job right before the busy Easter trading period

Nelson-based FIRST Union organiser Rachel Boyack says the union has been trying to negotiate a collective agreement since November last year at the region’s largest supermarket but the owner refuses to bargain over pay rates.

Bunnings dispute heads to the Employment Relations Authority

Date of Release: 
Friday, March 18, 2016

The long running employment dispute between Bunnings and FIRST Union is heading to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

The development comes after Bunnings suspended hundreds of workers across the country for removing their signature aprons in a symbolic protest against the company’s repeated refusal to compromise on rostering.

“The ERA has accepted our application for facilitated bargaining. With the ERA supervising the process we’re confident we can break the deadlock on rostering,” says FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.

Auckland bus drivers’ strike escalates – free fare day for passengers

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Union members at Howick and Eastern Buses, the bus provider for much of East Auckland, will be refusing to take cash or hop card fares on Thursday (17 March) meaning a free ride for some passengers.

The action is part of an ongoing dispute over overtime and weekend rates at the East Auckland bus provider.

“Drivers are fed up with the company’s repeated attempts to remove overtime and weekend rates,” says FIRST Union organiser Rudd Hughes.

Bunnings workers remove their aprons in nationwide strike

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Workers from 29 Bunnings stores across the country will taking action and removing their signature aprons as part of ongoing strike action nationwide.

“Workers will replace their aprons with union stickers,” says FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.

“This action will likely continue until a collective agreement is settled.”

FIRST Union and Bunnings remain locked in negotiations.

Union to take Auckland bus dispute to the Auditor-General

Date of Release: 
Friday, March 11, 2016

Drivers at Howick & Eastern Buses are pledging to continue their fight for fair pay and conditions as the drivers’ union, FIRST Union, prepares to write to the Auditor-General asking her to investigate whether Auckland Transport puts appropriate controls on private companies using public money to provide bus services. 


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